A blackness has entered into camp. A dark and powerful force has eroded the hearts of men. It crept slowly and methodically; it crouched and waited to entice the foolish. “If you do well [believing me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore my instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7).
Sexual immorality has beaconed the Israelite men. The Midianite women have lured and seduced the Israelites into worshiping their gods, “Israel settled and remained in Shittim, and the people began to play the prostitute with the women of Moab [by being unfaithful to God]. For they invited the Israelites to the sacrifices of their gods, and the Israelites ate [food offered to idols] and bowed down to Moab’s gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor [in worship]. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people [who have committed sin with the Moabites], and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each one of you must kill his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor [in worship].”
Then one of the Israelites came and presented to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping [over God’s judgment] at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he left the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and pierced both of them through the body, the man of Israel and the woman. Then the plague on the Israelites stopped. Nevertheless, those [Israelites] who died in the plague numbered 24,000” (Numbers 25:1-9).
The murdered woman was Cozbi, daughter of Zur, who was the tribal head of a father’s household in Midian, “The the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Provoke hositilites with the Midianites and attack them, for they harass you with their tricks, the tricks with which they have deceived you in the matter [of the Baal] of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague because [of the Baal] of Peor’ ” (Numbers 25:16-18).
God provided laws for His people. These laws and Christ’s ministry on this earth, are not to entangle and keep you trapped, but free you from worldly seduction and sin. The Lord loves His people and desires the best for them, but He will not allow you to cross a line and not take accountability for it or be unapologetic. The Israelite men were brazen and bold to take the woman to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting, God’s Tabernacle. It may be like a married man taking his mistress to church and no one pulling him aside to share the Truth. Sitting in God’s house, brashly sitting in sexual sin, with a mistress and thinking God will accept it.
As in the ancient world, God protects and provides. If you desire, He will share Truth to your heart and not let one of His people perish. We are to be living in the world, not of the world (John 17:16). We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a special people for God’s own possession, so that we may proclaim the excellences of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once we were not a people, but now we are God’s people; once we had not received mercy, but we have received His mercy with grace (1 Peter 2:9-10).
As Christians, we are to living for a future hope, but also conducting ourselves on this earth with the light of Christ. We are to be striving higher, becoming more like Jesus, not stooping to the world’s ideas and culture’s norm. We are called to fight the good fight of faith, “Fight the good fight of faith [in the conflict with evil]; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and ]for which] you made the good confession [of faith] in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).
Believe me, I recognize the world does not understand the Christian faith, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world], so that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living for human appetites and desires, but [lives] for the will and purpose of God.
For the time already past is [more than] enough for doing what the [unsaved] Gentiles like to do living [unrestrained as you have done] in a course of [shameless] sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and wanton idolatries. In [connection with] all this, they [the unbelievers] are resentful and surprised that you do not [think like them, value their values and] run [hand in hand] with them into the same excesses of dissipation and immoral freedom, and they criticize and abuse and ridicule you and make fun of your values.
But they will [have to] give an account to Him who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead For this is why the good news [of salvation] was preached [in their lifetimes] even to those who are dead, that though they were judged in the flesh as men are, they may live in the spirit according to [the will and purpose of] God” (1 Peter 4:1-6).
I want to encourage you. Strive to be all that God sees you can be. Live a life worthy of what Christ died for. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden you hearts in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your father’s tried me by testing God’s forbearance and tolerance’ ” (Hebrews 3:7-9). Struggle and fight to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being on the alert for the devil. He is craft and clever. Just as the Israelite men were tempted and audaciously brought an immoral women near God’s house, we also need Jesus’ help to not be lured by the enticements of the world, falling to our own spiritual death.